A British chef made headlines last week when he banned photos outright in his restaurant. Then, a different British chef — one known for voicing his opinion on the regular — clapped back, telling him to get with the times.
"I'm really getting so upset about people taking pictures. We put up a card at the door — 'No photos, please," Roux said to the Telegraph. His restaurant, the Waterside Inn (which is now run by his son, Alain), has three Michelin stars and charges about $220 for a six-course tasting menu. "Maybe once during the meal you want to take a little photo of something because it’s unusual. But what about the flavours? A picture on a phone cannot possibly capture the flavours."
After he heard about the photo ban, Ramsay didn't hold back. In a series of tweets, he called out Roux, saying that the no-photo policy was absurd and that Roux was an "old fart." Ramsay even said that when he sees a photo of food that looks particularly appetising, he actually does go out to try it for himself. Just goes to show that all those #foodporn photos in your feed actually do something.
The Daily Meal adds that the photo policy isn't the only thing that some may see as outdated at Waterside Inn. The restaurant requires all men to wear jackets, regardless of the temperature in the restaurant. Ramsay took issue with that, too, saying that Roux and Co. forget that in the hospitality industry, the customer comes first. Even the restaurant's pedigree — it was the first non-French restaurant in the world to hold onto three Michelin stars for 25 years — doesn't mean it can ignore customer service.
One organisation that's totally on the photo bandwagon? That would be the Michelin Guide itself, which publishes food photos from the restaurants that its staff reviews. It seems to be a family affair, too: Michel Roux Jr., who heads the kitchen at London's Le Gavroche, also discourages food photos at his restaurant, though there isn't an outright ban in his dining room.